NIGERIA AND A DEADLY VICIOUS CYCLE

Adeola Aderounmu

The issues affecting the Nigeria are numerous and varied. Recent occurrences in the country have stirred up debates here and there on some of these issues. Honestly speaking, the issues cannot be overflogged. It is a debacle that millions of Nigerians live with. They are entangled in a vicious web created by the wicked, mean and heartless leaders and politicians. It seems that Nigeria is trapped in a deadly vicious cycle. Again, there are many dimensions to this vicious cycle. The elimination of this cycle will be a difficult task and generally it looks like Nigerians will live with this dilemma for a long time to come. I could arguably state that some things will never change in Nigeria in as much as the circumstances to warrant those changes are missing. Take the case of stealing, looting, cheating and forgery as criminal examples.

For instance, how can you tell a student preparing for a common examination that he is not allowed to cheat? All the things that surround him indicate that cheating and forging are acceptable. He could see that all he needs to do is to find an appropriate accomplice in the person of the examiner or an accessory among the examination center workers. These could be the school principal or an influential teacher. If everyone did their parts, they will all get away, clean.  This is what INEC has done in the last scam called elections. All the players have done their parts and God help Nigeria if the judiciary follows the trend. Cheaters get caught sometimes because of the negligence of someone or the diligence of a faithful citizen. In a few days, we will know if the courts in 2007 Nigeria are faithful institutions or tools that should be neglected by the citizens.  

Stealing, forgery and cheating are siblings. We have seen over the years how common illiterates have occupied our senate/ house of assemblies and other public places using forged certificates, having attended imaginary schools especially abroad. Who is fooling who? The painful thing is that many of those alleged to have committed this crime are not really fully investigated because the tale may be endless. This implication is that many public holders carry false academic status. It would be nice to know what the result of a general knowledge exam will turn out among such people. Has someone thought about conducting a common entrance/ G2 exam for all public officers? I mean the type we did those days to get into secondary schools.  

Is it not amazing also that armed robbers are still finding their trade lucrative and attractive? How can you preach to them to stop and why should they stop? Everyday in Nigeria, millions are been stolen from the National treasury. Pen robbers who called themselves politicians steal money and share loots without a drop of sweat. This is a big inspiration for the men with guns. They are seriously inspired that it is very right to steal from wherever and whenever. Stealing is stealing regardless of how it is carried out. The pain though is that the armed robbers sometimes get merciless and many in recent years have taken the lives of their victims. They have become more brutal; sometimes they rape, maim and destroy property. Usually their victims have no definitions boundaries. All they need is money just like the thieves in government. Don’t even think about the Police tackling the menace of armed robbery. Like many public insitutions, they are ill-equipped and unmotivated. It is sad and painful but like many vices in our society, we live with these things daily and live the next day as another day of our God given lives. 

To fix or amend a vicious cycle, the people will have to resolve to a collective will. This is one virtue that does not exist in the Nigerian dictionary. People grew up of course in community settings, mutual environments but unfortunately it is “all man for himself” at the end of the day. This is a popular saying in Nigeria that has rendered the citizenry powerless. The society is full of envy, hatred and “bad belly”. The bad belly syndrome is a topic that requires treatment on its own. In modern societies, which are also found in neighbouring African states anyway, the aim of collective will is to move a nation forward by standing up against everything and anything that doesn’t seem right. Nigerians don’t stand up against wrong things because they hope to benefit from that “wrong thing” themselves when the opportunity comes directly or when they have a known person in a position to steal or influence things. This is pathetic and it is not a legacy that should passed from generation to generation, but that is just the way I have known it and at 35, I am beginning to lose hope that my country of birth will be great in my life time.

aderounmu@gmail.com

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